But strategy isn't the only reason Wakefield is the second pitcher out of the chute for Boston.
"I think Wake deserved to pitch second," said Francona. "He won 16 games, he's been an anchor on this staff. At the same time, I saw no drawback to splitting them up and having Beckett pitch third."
The Rangers counter with Vicente Padilla, who is making his debut in the American League this season. The Red Sox, after scoring seven runs in the opener, will try to make the adjustment as difficult as possible for the right-hander.
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (16-12, 4.15 ERA in 2005)
The veteran knuckleballer enters his 12th season in a Boston uniform. Last season was one of his best, as he led the team in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts.
TEX: RHP Vicente Padilla (9-12, 4.71 ERA in 2005)
Padilla gets his introduction to life in the American League by facing one of the most potent offenses in the game. In his career, Padilla is 5-6 with a 5.48 ERA against AL competition.
Player to watch
Superstar slugger David Ortiz will try to maintain his hot bat after ripping three hits, including a two-run homer, on Monday.
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Official game notes
Wednesday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 15-8, 3.38 ERA in 2005) at Rangers (Kameron Loe, 9-6, 3.42 ERA), 8:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Red Sox (Matt Clement, 13-6, 4.57 ERA in 2005) at Orioles (Daniel Cabrera, 10-13, 4.52 ERA), 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday: Red Sox (Curt Schilling, 1-0, 2.57 ERA) at Orioles (Bruce Chen, 13-10, 3.83 ERA in 2005), 4:35 p.m. ET